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How To Save 100 Grand Building Your Home

Five Secrets to Save 40% When Building Your Next Home 

For most Americans, owning a home is our biggest financial investment. If maintained, the value of our houses almost always increases over time. In many instances, the increase is substantial.

When it comes to building a new home, you can realize some huge savings in your construction budget. How big? In some instances, as much as 40%.

According to the United States government, as of September 2017, the average price of a new home is just over $385,000 (see So when we base 40% off of the average of $385,000, the potential savings equals $154,000.

That’s a lot of savings!

Let’s dive in. Here are five no-hassle ways the average person can save up to 40% when building their next home.

Savings 1: Use the PermaPanel — 5 to 15%

Many of our customers are able to save between 5–15% of their overall construction costs simply by using the revolutionary PermaPanel system. The more of the complete package of PermaPanel you use for your house, the higher the savings. For instance, if you take advantage of the footing forms, foundation panels, exterior and interior wall panels, ceiling and decking panels, stair forms, and column and beam forms, your construction costs are substantially reduced.

Conversely, the savings isn’t as drastic when you only utilize one feature of the system.

One of the best features of the PermaPanel product line is that one 4×8 wall panel (they come in additional sizes as well), eliminates FIVE divisions of construction. That’s worth rereading!

Remember those old cereal commercials where they would stack five bowls of cereal next to one bowl of a different cereal to demonstrate how much you would need to eat to get the same amount of nutrition? It’s the same idea here.

The PermaPanel wall system eliminates the following divisions:

  • Framing
  • Insulation
  • Vapor Barrier
  • Exterior sheathing
  • Drywall

This results in impressive time savings as well, cutting weeks off of your construction schedule.

Savings 2: Hire Yourself — 10 to 15% 

Most, if not all, building departments throughout the nation allow you to be a general contractor for your personal residence without being licensed. Being your own general contractor is not for everyone, but it is also not as difficult as you might imagine. Stressful? It can be. Technically challenging? Not as much.

In terms of technical background, you DO need a basic understanding of the construction process. However, it is NOT necessary to be an expert; that’s what your subcontractors will be.

Beyond that, you must be able to communicate well, create schedules, and remain firm on expectations. You handle all the payments to the subs, which isn’t very complex.

Being your own general contractor (GC) takes time, but there are huge rewards as well.


By following the first two steps, it is possible to save 30% alone on the cost of a new house. In dollars, that’s more than $115,000 on the average sized house.

The next three savings are not as dramatic as the first two in terms of percentage points, but added up they too account for substantial savings.

Savings 3: Buy Wholesale Cabinets and Countertops — 3 to 6%

Cabinetry throughout the house – kitchen and bathrooms, is one of the major costs of new construction. You pay a premium price for a relatively simple fixture, if you will. A cabinet traditionally has two main components, a boxed frame and a door. Other than some hardware, some drawers or shelves, and upgrades like trim, that’s it to a cabinet. And yet, cabinets are very expensive.

There is a secret cabinet shops do not want to tell you: most no longer build their own cabinet doors. The reason is that doors take time to build, are difficult to build, and perhaps the most important reason, are cheaper to buy from a factory than build them in-house.

A growing trend among home builders and home remodelers is to buy high-quality cabinets that are shipped to your location and you assemble them yourself. (For an additional fee, they can assemble the cabinets for you.)

The more premium the cabinets, the greater the savings. These are much higher quality than what you find in the box stores, and often cost much less money as well.

Is it difficult? Actually, not really. There are numerous online resources such as detailed instructions and helpful videos on how to assemble and hang cabinets. Most have knowledge customer support as well. You’ll need another helper or two when hanging cabinets, but the majority of the work can be done by yourself if you are able to follow directions.

Countertops are another area where you can save big. It is not uncommon anymore to find a shop that has premade granite or marble countertops that come in a standard size. The price can be as low as $120 for a 6-foot granite countertop with a sink hole cut out. Plan your bathrooms ahead of time, and you could save big using these prefabricated countertops.

Another option for is to watch some videos on how to cast your own concrete countertops for the kitchen and bathrooms. The results look fantastic. By casting it yourself, a couple hundred dollar investment can save you several thousands of dollars.

Savings 4: Buy Premade Plans — 1 to 2% 

Unless you have a specific vision of your house and need to hire an architect, consider buying premade plans. There are many blueprint resources online. We have used them several times and have been pleased by the results.

The plans may need customizing, which is no big deal. In fact, many of these companies provide blueprint plan customization for an additional fee. We have also hired CAD technicians to make modifications to the plans for such changes as expanding a wall or switching a bathroom and closet.

Savings 5: Purchase the Materials — 1 to 2% 

Our final tip can yield you an additional 1 to 2% savings. It can be challenging for a subcontractor to carry the material expense of more than one project. Since you have to pay them anyway, by offering to buy the material (such as wire or siding) direct from the supplier and pay for it in full, both the supplier and the subcontractor often will shave some cost from their bids.

Again, you end up paying for it anyway. Why not get a discount in the process by buying direct and paying in full?

Let’s recap the savings.

  • Using the PermaPanel system = 5 – 15%
  • Being your own general contractor = 10 – 15%
  • Assembling your own cabinets and using countertop creativity = 3 – 6%
  • Buying premade plans = 1 – 2%
  • Purchase materials direct and pay in full up front = 1 – 2%

On the low end, you could realistically save 20% on your construction budget by utilizing these steps, and as much as 40%. For the average new house in America, that equals anywhere from $77,000 to $154,000! We have done this ourselves and know it to be possible.

There are other savings that could give you several more percentage points. We share 18 additional tips here, and while they are not as substantial as we shared above, combined these additional insider tips could easily give another 10%.

For many people, these kinds of savings mean the difference between owning a house and renting. For others, it means paying off debt or enjoying a vacation. And for others, it means finally being able to afford their dream home.

Whatever it is for you, we hope it means something special.